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Global climate change, immigration policies, the refugee crisis, and mass shootings were among the topics addressed at the Tenth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Tuesday, April 16, in the Daniel P. Nolan Gymnasium.

This year, the Neil Hellman Library gave out the Undergraduate Research Award named after Sister Katherine McPeak ’61 —- the only librarian-faculty emeritus. The award recognizes exemplary scholarship from students who demonstrate creativity and thoughtfulness in their approach to research.

Undergraduate Research Award winners in the Nolan P. Gymnasium

Undergraduate Research Award Winners (from left to right) Frank Houser, Kyle Humphreys, and Lauren Zakrzewski

Award winners were decided by a faculty panel, who met with candidates and asked them questions about their topics and research processes. Four award winners were selected at the end of the event, first and second place for each category.

Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

First Place
Frank Houser
Project Title: The Vulnerability to be Loved Scale:  Scale Development and Initial Validation
Faculty Sponsor: Nancy Dorr

Second Place
Kyle Humphreys
Project Title: Self-Advocacy, Activism, and Transgender Microcelebrities
Faculty Sponsor: Jin Kim

Math & Science

First Place
Lauren Zakrzewski
Project Title: Impact of Alkali Halide Salt Ions on Hydrogen Bonding at the Air-Water Interface
Faculty Sponsor: Brad Bauer

Second Place
Gregory M. John
Project Title: Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Small Hydrophobes in H2O Using CHARMM
Faculty Sponsor: Brad Bauer

This year’s symposium featured research by 49 undergraduate students of different majors and years who presented their work to peers, faculty, and administrators. Students use a variety of methods to complete their studies, such as experiments, surveys, focus groups, secondary data analysis, or mixed methods. Professors sponsor the research.

The symposium is made possible by: The Office of the Provost/VP for Academic Affairs, The Office of the Vice President for Finance & Administration, The Office of Events Scheduling & Administration, The Office of Mathematics and Sciences, and the Neil Hellman Library.

Participants and their research:
Investigating the Effects of Climate Change on West Nile Virus
Emmanuel W. Agbor – Medical Technology

Biology student Victor Aisogun presenting his study in the gymnasium

Biology student Victor Aisogun presenting his study

Determining Oral Microbiome Populations of Saint Rose Students
Victor Aisogun – Biology

Towards an Understanding of Mass Shootings in the United States:
Adult Motivation
Joshua Alves – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

Origins and Transition to Violence of MS-13 in the United States
Alanna Baldelli – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

Parental and Media Influence on Body Image and Self- Esteem
Megan Belgrave – Psychology

Uncovering Police Brutality: Are Police Officers Fighting For Equal Justice Or Are They Ruling With Racial Bias?
Ausara Blake – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

Optimizing Quantitative PCR Conditions to Analyze the Expression of Barhl1 in the Cerebellum and Brainstem
Ashley Bonocore – Biology

Determining the Impact of Maternal Alcohol Exposure on the Specification and Migration of Precerebellar Neurons
Nia Brown – Biology

Temperature Dependence of Small-Scale Hydrophobic Interactions
Amie Burnell – Chemistry

Mosque of Córdoba
Yakaira Cabral – Political Science

The Effects and Risk Factors of Sex Trafficking
Courtney Carelli – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

Understanding Parents’ Perceptions of Feeding and Eating Difficulties and Accompanying Challenging Behavior in their Child
Erin Cullinan – Communication Sciences and Disorders
Megan Lachapelle – Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Motivation of Stalking: Typologies and Intentions
Jacqueline Danek – Forensic Psychology

Medical Technology Zenath Din with her project

Medical Technology Zenath Din with her project

The Effect of Climate Change on the Transmission of Malaria by Plasmodium Falciparum
Zenath Din – Medical Technology

A Border Wall is Not the Solution to Undocumented Immigration
Tonya Ellis – Special Education/Elementary Education

Testing for the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of Copper and Copper Tolerance in Streptococcus Mutans
Amanda German – Biology

Drug Use Among Student-Athletes
Alexandra Giuliano – Criminal Justice

The Effects of Chronic Solitary Confinement on Mental Health
Breanna Gomez – Forensic Psychology

The Protectorate of Spain in Morocco
Cameron Graupman – Childhood Education

The Surprising Positives of Binge-Watching
Allen Hills – Communications

The Vulnerability to be Loved Scale: Scale Development and Initial Validation
Frank Houser – Psychology

Self-Advocacy, Activism, and Transgender Microcelebrities
Kyle Humphreys – Communications

Western Mediterranean Route: Looking for a Solution to the Refugee Crisis
Roko Jelavić – Psychology

Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Small Hydrophobes in H2O Using CHARMM
Gregory M. John – Chemistry

Bertuchi’s Influence
Bianca Martinez – Business Marketing

Criminal Justice Behavior & Law Madison Mastando with her project

Criminal Justice Behavior & Law Madison Mastando with her project

Filicide and Motive
Madison Mastando – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

Linkage of Drugs and Homelessness
Amanda Melian – Criminal Justice Behavior and Law

Examining Phenotypic Effects of Variants of Unknown Significance in MYH3 C. elegans Ortholog, unc-54
Liana Morales – Biology

Formation of the Jewish & Muslim Population in Spain
Alejandra Morillo – Early Childhood Education B-6

Guarded Immigration in Spain
Alejandra Morillo – Early Childhood Education B-6

Investigating the Effects of Climate Change on Dengue Fever Virus Transmission
Jasmina Mujanovic – Medical Technology

The Effect of Temperature on Palladium Catalyzed C-H Amination to Synthesize Benzimidazolone Derivatives
Samantha Mumford – Biochemistry

The Motivations of High School Shootings
Astasia Myler – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

 Extension of Palladium- Catalyzed C-H Amination to the Synthesis of Cyclic Sulfamides
Comfort Obeng – Biology

The Potential Effects of Climate Change on the Spread of Lyme Disease
Abigail Pierce – Medical Technology

The Healthcare Gender Gap
Victoria Ranken – Graphic Design

The Use of Fourier Transform Infrared – Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR) Spectroscopy to Detect Trace Amounts of Over the Counter Drugs in Saliva Residue
Christina Riley – Chemistry

Marijuana Legalization Impact Throughout Colorado
Jarred Sausville – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law
Piotr Czajkowski – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

Historical Applications of Algebraic Theory
Michael Schneider Sharkey – Business Administration

The Effects of Copper on Streptococcus mutans Biofilm Formation
Snezhana Stavre – Biology

Economics of Refugee Policies
Orel Taib – Business Economics

Communications student Megan E. Collins with her project

Communications student Megan E. Collins with her project

Internet Access, Social Media, and Political Engagement
Megan E. Collins – Communications

Perceptions of Police Use of Fatal Force: The Role of Gender,Mental Illness, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism
Mason Tallman – Forensic Psychology

Investigating the Effects of Climate Change on Y. pestis, the Cause of Plague
Francine Tongson – Medical Technology

An Analysis of Gun Legislation after School Shootings
Olivia Trudeau – Forensic Psychology

Familicide and Murder Suicide
Briani Velasquez – Criminal Justice Behavior & Law

Variables Affecting the Quality of Plasmid DNA Isolated Using a Nucleic Acid Purification Kit
Wendella Wilson – Biology

Incestual Childhood and Adolescent Sexual Abuse and Adult Relationships
Raegan Woodcock – Forensic Psychology

Impact of Alkali Halide Salt Ions on Hydrogen Bonding at the Air-Water Interface
Lauren Zakrzewski – Chemistry